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Once Upon a River: A Novel av Bonnie Jo…

Once Upon a River: A Novel (urspr publ 2011; utgåvan 2011)

av Bonnie Jo Campbell

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
8344719,343 (3.87)96
Margo Crane, a beautiful and uncanny markswoman, takes to the Stark River after being complicit in the death of her father and embarks on an odyssey in search of her vanished mother.
Titel:Once Upon a River: A Novel
Författare:Bonnie Jo Campbell
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (2011), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 348 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Taggar:Michigan, survival, coming of age, women


Once Upon a River av Bonnie Jo Campbell (2011)

Senast inlagd avSusansbooksandgifts, Arina42, privat bibliotek

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Visa 1-5 av 47 (nästa | visa alla)
What a wonderful book! I loved the main character, the setting, the storyline, the writing.....I just plain loved it. I worry for the future of Margo, but I know that whatever challenges she will face, she will find a way to overcome them. And I know she'll be happy. ( )
  lynnski723 | Aug 6, 2020 |
Though more elegantly written, this book reminded me a lot of one of my favorites, [b:Z for Zachariah|69477|Z for Zachariah|Robert C. O'Brien|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1420324231s/69477.jpg|2070709]. Both share a capable teen heroine who takes charge of her own life under extremely adverse circumstances. Rural Michigan is in a kind of permanent post-apocalypse of poverty, drug abuse and just plain abuse. But Margo fishes and hunts her way to a kind of independence, though not without tremendous cost. the writing is spare, thoughtful and finely attuned to the natural world. After Margo kills a buck, she discovers that it has caught something unusual: "From its mouth tumbled a grey bird, a mourning dove, with its dark eyes bulging and darting and then closing." She eventually kills the man who rapes her, though not without dire consequences. The supporting characters are well-drawn, not caricatures. There are elements of the film Winter's Bone here (Jennifer Lawrence would have played the hell out of Margo) as well as Beasts of the Southern Wild. Really satifying and otherworldly -- I was as transported by the place as any character. ( )
  MaximusStripus | Jul 7, 2020 |
I'm torn on this one. Campbell can write for sure, and Margo is at times a wonderful protagonist to follow around. But the plot is as meandering as the river Margo loves. There's also a repetitiveness to Margo's actions: she meets a man, is attracted to him, sleeps with him. All well and good, except the first erotic encounter in the novel is between Margo and her half-uncle. Margo seems to do things due to some inscrutable wisdom, although at times I swear she comes across at times as if she's got Asperger's syndrome.

That said, there are some marvelous moments in here. The characters are drawn well for the most part. There are villains and action--if the protagonist is a teenaged girl who is a deadly shot with a rifle and is constantly surrounded by men, many of whom manipulate her, then someone is going to get shot. Her attempts to live like Annie Oakley, her hero, are admirable, although rather difficult to conceive of in Michigan in the late 1970s/early 80s.

Short version: Margo Crane is a compelling female misfit in an uneven but at times beautifully written novel. ( )
  ChristopherSwann | May 15, 2020 |
Liked this but thought American Salvage was better. Could have done with less killing of animals... ( )
  viviennestrauss | Jun 18, 2019 |
An allegory of patriarchy, that's what I think this story is about. We see a girl's emerging and unashamed sexuality shaped by her encounters into womanhood. Her father: focused on protection, her uncle Cal - rapes her and then lies about it, Brian becomes possessive, Michael cares physically for her but wants her to fit into a mold, Paul rapes her, the Indian enjoys her and leaves her pregnant, Fishbone grudgingly gives her a means to support herself, but wishes she was normal. Only Smoke, a dying gay man, encourages her to be. She eventually learns to protect her choices with a gun (is this a hopeful allegory?)

Patriarchy: is focused on protection of the females in one's own family (but lies about the incest that does happen.) It protects females who belong to a man, but only when that man is there and the protection is oppressive, bent on sequestering female sexuality. Trying to housebreak sexuality is like herding cats, as Michael discovers - and it's not about love, it's about the rules (proof: he wants her to go to the police after she saves his life.) It's a wild and free sexuality which the Indian recognizes and responds to but cannot commit to. Only someone else outside the pale, a gay man who smokes, is not afraid of her sex. He doesn't try to force it or fence it or claim it. He bestows on it respect, love and a place to live.

Woman's sexuality is powerful: it can kill, but it doesn't want to. It is concerned with "What's it mean to love someone?" (p.99) and "How should (Margo) live her life?" (p.115). It can go bad with selfishness. (Her mother's seemed to.) If the parallels with Billy's life (explicitly pointed out on p. 200/202) are a clue, there is choice involved.

We live our lives by the stories we tell. A woman's sexuality is slow to emerge, but it does. "She had not objected to Cal's actions in the shed, had even been curious about what was happening. For the last year, however, it had been gnawing at her and Margo had been forming her objection."(p.38) and then on p.240 "Once again, Margo could imagine no reason on earth not to trust her body." Her story of Annie Oakley helped her make sense of her life. Others might call her nymph or sprite, but her own perceptions of her self - wolverine. We live our lives by mythologies. The stories we tell shape us. This one, too. ( )
  MaryHeleneMele | May 6, 2019 |
Visa 1-5 av 47 (nästa | visa alla)
Without creating a compelling case for her heroine choosing to ground herself, Campbell allows Margo to waver without justification over decisions that might have come easy to her earlier.
Bonnie Jo Campbell might well be called the Bard of Michigan — if only ''bard'' didn't sound so stuffy and ''Michigan'' didn't sound so 
 nondescript as a global positioning device to locate such a vivid and mesmerizing novel as Once Upon a River. Fact is, Campbell is a bard, 
a full-throated singer whose melodies are odes to farms and water and livestock and fishing rods and rifles, and to hardworking folks who know the value of life as well as the randomness of life's troubles.
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Margo Crane, a beautiful and uncanny markswoman, takes to the Stark River after being complicit in the death of her father and embarks on an odyssey in search of her vanished mother.

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Medelbetyg: (3.87)
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4 66
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